Awakened after ten years. Who... What am I?
Once, you were the Protector of a Little Sister. In a traumatic event you were separated from her, and you remember nothing afterward. Now, 10 years later, it seems that Rapture has moved on, and the Splicers’ arms race has escalated. You are free of the single-minded conditioning of the other Big Daddies, but you still need to be near your bonded Little Sister. You must find her.
Like its predecessor, BioShock 2 is a first-person shooter set in the underwater city of Rapture. Once again you have magic-like powers called plasmids aside from the usual selection of weapons. This time you are a Big Daddy, a massive protector whose sole reason in life is to protect his Little Sister. The latter is part of a group of little girls that have the ability to collect Adam, the essence that enhances people’s plasmid abilities.
You are Subject Delta. In the introductory sequence, you get ambushed and left to die with the Little Sister taken away. Ten years later you are resurrected, and ready to start your revenge. Control and movement immediately feel odd and different from the first game, but you get used to it quickly. One big advantage is that you can use both weapons and plasmids at the same time, but sometimes it is hard to switch between the required plasmids in the heat of battle. Playing with a controller may help.
The other differences from the first BioShock are the underwater sections (although they are few and with limited gameplay), better hacking (faster and can also be done remotely from a distance), and one thing I personally liked is that the Little Sisters you encounter are more recognisable.
An important goal in BioShock 2, apart from the main quest is gathering Adam so that you can become more powerful. There are various ways to do it, some more morally sound than others, but the truth is that the task is repetitive and takes too much time away from the main quest and feels like it is just a mechanism to extend the playtime. For the second time around, the main character starts weak and builds up his power over time in order to become a killing machine. However, once you reach certain milestones, you will hit some points in the game which were designed just to drain your supplies. Then it’s time to start gathering everything for the next stretch all over, although ammo is indeed plentiful.
The levels are varied, and it’s still a pleasure to visit Rapture once again, especially the last level which is a blast. The main problem with BioShock 2 is that it does everything better than its predecessor, but in trying not to stray too far from the original formula ends up not pushing the status quo far enough.